CAMBRIDGE, ON – After a full season spent with the APC United Late Model Series in 2017 defined by on-track altercations and mechanical failures, JR Fitzpatrick is prepared for a return in 2018 that he hopes will yield far better results and a first career tour victory.
“I don’t think there’s any denying that what we went through last season was a disaster,” admits Fitzpatrick. “2017 wasn’t our year. It is what it is. Every race that you’re out there for isn’t going to end in something that you put on the back of your hero card. We had an off-year.”
“There were nights where we didn’t get the lucky breaks that we really needed and others where my aggression probably kept those lucky breaks from finding me. I need to do better in 2018 – and I will”
Fitzpatrick’s 2018 season will be his busiest in recent memory, as he plans for a full tour with the APC United Late Model Series as well as a full time championship pursuit in Flamboro Speedway’s weekly Pro Late Model division.
“I’m as excited as anything to get back on the APC [United Late Model Series] tour this year,” details Fitzpatrick. “The drivers on that roster are the most dedicated I’ve ever raced against and have some of the best programs in the country. They’re the reason that tour is the best thing going in Ontario right now.”
“Flamboro’s weekly deal is on the upswing right now too,” continues the second-generation racer. “They’re doing a great job rebuilding their image and bringing some prestige back to their Saturday shows. It’s something that I knew I wanted to be a part of to support it and help it grow as much as I can”
“When the Pro Late [Model] class was dead – Flamboro kept it going when they really didn’t have to. They could have ditched the division and moved to something else but they chose to stick it out and support their racers. I give them a lot of credit for that.”
With both his APC car and his weekly Flamboro Speedway effort based out of his family’s Cambridge-area shop, Fitzpatrick is well aware that his team could be headed for some late nights and long weeks throughout the season – however if that means contending for a pair of Pro Late Model championships, Fitzpatrick is more than willing to make the necessary sacrifices.
“Championships are always hard to make happen – and they’re even harder when you’re putting together two different cars,” explains the former CASCAR national champion. “But we have the right pieces in the right places and we’re ready to invest the hours.”
“I think our chances of doubling down and winning in both of these cars is real good. We’ve been working nonstop on both of them, and when the season gets rolling we’re going to be ready. Our equipment is top shelf, our team is managed better than it has been in a long time and now it’s just up to me to make the right decisions behind the wheel.”